Oddly enough, I’ve never seen wingnuts react this way to any of Joe Arpaio’s briefings:
Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik thrust himself into the spotlight in the aftermath of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and 19 other people in Arizona on Saturday, decrying the heated political atmosphere and calling for more civility.
“It’s not unusual for all public officials to get threats constantly, myself included,” he said on Saturday. “That’s the sad thing about what’s going on in America: pretty soon we’re not going to be able to find reasonable, decent people willing to subject themselves to serve in public office.”
Dupnik immediately angered some on the right, who took his words to be directed at the tea party and conservatives, as well as Arizonans who took offense to his depiction of Arizona as “a mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) said he didn’t think the sheriff’s words “had any part in a law enforcement briefing.” Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) said he was “disappointed” in the sheriff. Conservative talk show host Neal Boortz said Dupnik was looking for political gain, and Fox News anchor — in an interview with the sheriff — wondered aloud why he would “inject political speculation” into the story.
Two quick notes for David Gergen and the “both sides do it” bullshit peddlers. First, there was nothing partisan about Dupnik’s statements. He pointed no fingers at any specific group- he merely pointed out that public figures are receiving a lot of threats and that as a lifelong resident of Arizona, he has noticed a change in the political atmosphere, which DIRECTLY impacts his ability to do his job, which is keeping the peace. Compare that to the overtly political statements Arpaio has made… well, forever.
Second, and this is a very key distinction, when liberals get up in arms about Arpaio, it is because they are disagreeing with him. Conservatives disagree with the Dupnik non-partisan remarks, obviously, but what is different is that they don’t think he should even be allowed to make them.
But this is all par for the course. The media and the Republicans have set up two sets of rules. One for right-wingers, and one for everyone else.
*** Update ***
Looks like Media Matters got there before me on this (barely), with a lot of quotes and the same title (damnit!).